Monday, May 28, 2012

May 28, 2012

Hey-o. so the computer i'm using right now is pretty terrible, and the keyboard totally doesn't work right, but who needs capital letters anyways? just a heads up. but yeah, another not-to-shabby week for ol' asian eyes. i am so incredibly tired right now, i played hoops for like 4 straight hours, and it's totally hot. we got to play in shorts and everything, but then i had to change back to missionary clothes, and i'm definitely getting my white-shirt sweatin' on right now. awful. but it was totally fun playing, although i'm starting to realize that i don't think i'll be near as good as feel like i am when i go back home. i'm like sasha vujachic tearing it up in some random slovanian league, and then will get totally schooled when i make the jump back to the united states, where suddenly i'm not so gigantic. but yeah, i'm enjoying it while i can.

So want to hear about my week? of course you guys do. i feel like this is the paragraph where most people zone out of my letters and not really pay attention, but thats okay, i bet dad reads them. vale la peña. well first and foremost, there is a definite change we'll baptize 3 people this week! i would say it's like a 10% chance...but miracles still happen, so we're hoping for the best. the 3 people is irma and her two kids, diego and valeria. this last sunday we had stake conference, a 70 came and everything! but of course we got the classic text message half an hour before saying irma wouldn't be able to come, but diego and valeria yes! i think valeria liked it, but diego was just bored out of his mind. the kid is only ten years old, and hearing the stake president go off on the importance of doing family home evenings wasn't the most interesting thing for him. but still, he went! i should have remembered what mom did with me back then, and break out some skittles out of nowhere. too bad i don't know where to buy skittles here. but anyways, we're definitely crossing our fingers that they're all good to go this weekend. but if all else fails, i get to baptize an 8 year old girl this week! apparently she is totally afraid of the water, but i convinced that being in the water is fun, and so she asked me to baptize her this weekend. will she probably freak out in the water? will i sort of need to drown her a little bit? probably yes, but whatever, a baptism is a baptism. besides that, nothing too crazy to report i guess. except for the fact that in two-consecutive days we found a tarantula and a lizard in our bathroom sink. nothin' like waking up totally early, not really 100% aware of whats going on, washing you're face, and then looking down and seeing some truly frightning creatures. good times. mom would have loved being here.

Other than that, i'm not doing too bad these days. my body sort of feels like it's quiting on me sometimes, but then i realize i'm only 20 years old and really shouldn't feel so tired all the time. but i guess i'm in that point in the mission where yeah, i'm pretty tired, but just gotta keep going at it and complete with everything the lord wants me to do. so that's my game plan right now, but i should probably play less basketball on p-days. speaking of basketball, so yeah the lakers went down, but that doesn't mean we can't make some awesome moves this summer. i honestly can't wait to be watching dwight howard in the purple and gold, just totally dunk on fools. i'm all for sure getting rid of bynum, and according to what i've heard, i don't think i would miss pau that much after all. i'm optimistic for the next season, keep up the laker love. but anyways, what else is going on at home? getting pretty close to the glory that is summer time, neices and nephews are so pumped up right now. is there anything better (besides christmas)? so much free time to do whatever, so much fun. well anyways, i guess that's all i've got for you guys this week, but i love and miss all of you, and the gospel is true. but you guys already know that. so just gotta take care of business and live it. keep on truckin' family.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Pictures - May 21, 2012

May 21, 2012

Family! How's it going? So guess what, changes just happened again and..I'm exactly where I was! Which is what I was hoping for, I really can't complain about the area I've got right now. Zacatecas is the least hot part of the mission which is definitely a big deal, plus a solid ward, good investigators, food, nice house, and not that many dogs in the steet. Win-win situation. I'm still working with my companion Elder Pineda, which is totally cool, he's a good guy. So yup, it looks like I'll be here for one change more, and then off to my very last area. Sort of nuts, right? It's so weird being on the last leg of the Mission, seeing all your buddies going home and realizing that the Mission actually does end. I don't mean to sound like I'm out the door by any means, but I guess it does have a little bit of a different feel. In a good way, like in a "wow, I gotta take advantage of the time I've got left" kinda way.

And I think I've been doing an alright job lately, we baptized somebody this week! Manuel was such an out of nowhere, total miracle baptism. We baptized his wife and two kids, and we we're thinking the whole time that we weren't exactly his favorite people. We tried talking to him before and introduce what the church is all about, but he really wasn't that interested. He was about as interested in the church as Greg probably is with my emails by now. But anyways, one day we just got to talking with him, he started to open up a little bit, and within 10 minutes he was super comitted to being baptized. I really don't know what happened, but it just sort of worked out perfectly. He asked me to baptize him, and I told I would love to, but I didn't know if I would have changes or not, so he decided to take all the lessons in basically 2 days in order to be baptized last Saturday. Success! Everything went great, and the water was only sort of freezing. It really does feel good to have baptisms as a Missionary, concrete evidence that you're doing something right. Our next main investigators are Irma, Valeria, and Diego. It's a family of three we've been teaching a lot lately, and they're totally awesome. Lately we've been visiting them with a member named Javier, he is an ex-catholic priest from the Catholic church, and is probably in the top 10 coolest people I've met in my entire life. He was the man with the plan answeing all these questions Irma and her family had (pretty much everyone here has been Catholic all their lives), and it was tons of fun to be watching it happen. Javier has some of the funniest stories ever about his Priest days. Here's one: so when Javier just got pumped up to priest, the other priests decided to play a trick on him on his first day on the job when he had to do 5 catholic masses. They told him that when he did the sacrament, he had to drink the whole cup of wine (and not just a little sip like normal). 5 full cups of wine later, Javier was totally out of it. Apparently no one understood the last mass he did. Love the man.

So thats kinda whats going on right now for me. I'm still kickin' as District Leader, but my district might be a little bit harder this time around, got some new iffy missionary, but we'll figure it out. Today was pretty laid back, since it's change day, pretty much everyone is hanging out at the bus station. So we got together with the other misisonaries from Guadalupe and we shot hoops for hours. Thats one of my favorite things in this life. It was cool to hangout with my buddy, Elder Myers, he's from LA and we got some Laker chit-chat going on. Good times. Speaking of Lakers...3-1! Man, what a bummer. I knew we were at 2-1 a couple of days ago, and we totally could have tied the series! Man, not lookin' so good in Lakerland right now. But hey, we've seen people come back from being down 3-1 before, so there is still hope family. Either way, I really hope we make some cool off-season moves this summer, we need some new blood. Dwight Howard and Steve Nash would be nice, right? It'll be awesome.

So besides that, whats going on at home? It's peoples birthdays around this time, right? Yes, Josh, Randy, and Cameron! Happy Birthday, you guys rock. How old is everyone turing? I want to Josh is turning..4. Cameron is turning...9. and Randy is turning.....45. Just kidding, wait, how old is Randy? In my mind Mike has been 36 for the past 5 years or so, and that would make Randy...37? I have no idea. Either way, happy birthday! And lets not forget Sister Kump! Happy Birthday Sister Kump. Thanks for reminding me Mom. Other than that, anything new going on at home? Sounds like everything is pretty laid-back and thats exactly how it should be. I hope people are still getting pumped up Church stuff, because if there is anything I've learned on my mission it's that when we do what the Lord wants, everything is better, and when we don't, not so much. It's really not that complicated, just go ti church, follow the commandments, pay you're tithing, live it up in your calling, and life is good. I'm looking forward to doing all these things, all of my life. Take it easy Family, golf and snolf, I love all of you.

Elder Abbott

Monday, May 14, 2012

May 14, 2012

Family! Man was it awesome to be able to talk you last week! And so yeah, I totally have a weird accent now, and can't say words like "tortilla" like you guys, but still. Devon was totally freaked out when I first called her, totally thinking some weird Mexican man was calling her..."do you know who this is? should know who this is..." I guess thats not the best way to start a converation, but I totally thought she would recognize my voice after knowing me forever, my bad. But seriously, it was really good to be able to hear almost everyones voice. I'm bummed we weren't able to get the Abbo's from NC involved, but don't worry, I'll be home in like 5 and a half months, so we'll get all our chit chat on afterwards. It's weird, you don't realize how much you miss home until you really remember how everything is back there. But don't worry, I'm not bummed or anything, but It was a nice reenigezer is take care of business for the last leg of the Mish. So from what I could understand, I think this is how the hardest Missions of the Abbott family play out:

1. Brett - Honduras
2. Mike - Guatamala
3. Me - Mexico
4. Kev- Philappines
5. Marv - China
6. Randy - New York
7. Greg - 2 days in MTC

Anyways, it's been a good week in my neck of the woods. Guess what, we're baptizing somebody this Saturday! It's true. Remember a while back when Alejandra got baptized, well know her Dad wants to get baptized! This was something I totally didn't see coming, but the magic is happening. His name is Manuel, and the man is on a roll. He asked me to baptize him, which is great and all, but to be honest I love being able to take it easy in the baptisms and just enjoy the service. Plus most Mehicanos sort of freak out in the water and kind of start attacking the person thats baptizing them, but you do what you gotta do to get them under. I'm looking forward to it. What else happened this week? We did a cool service project a couple of days ago, and we painted trees! Thats right, painted...trees. I didn't really understand why we were doing it, but gotta love being able to hangout with shorts in a park with the buddies. We seriously painted over a 100 trees, why we did it, who knows, but we did it. Today was a solid P-Day of carne asada and playing hoops and the card game Bang with the zone. I'm going to miss dominating the Mexican basketball courts, when I come back home, I suddenly won't be gigantic. So I'm living it up while I can. Oh, and I'm sending the picture we got to take with Elder Johnson, the area 70 who visited our mission. If you can't find me, I'm the only asian one in the back corner. It really shouldn't be that hard to find me.

So I was super relieved to hear that the Lakers took the Nuggets in game 7. All of you fools were totally hating on Pau, and didn't he put up like a 27 and 14 that game? Can't hate on that Spaniard, even if he literally is playing like Sister Garcia before, he can still bring it when the game is on the line. We're up against OKC next serious round? That could be tough, but World Peace just needs to go crazy after another dunk with Durant nearby, and we're gold! Anyways, I guess this will be a shorter letter this week considering I just got to talk you a couple of day ago, but I'll finish it strong with some spiritual stuff. Well sir, I guess I was sort of thinking about all that has happened since the last time I talked to all of you, and I'll be honest, I feel a lot different. The more I'm growing up, the more I'm realizing just how important living the Gospel really is. I'm sure it's totally not easy all the time, and it requires sacrifice, but it really is the key to having a meaningful life and being able to be with the people you love afterwards. I've still got a little way to go in the Mission, but looking back, I've gone through some of the hardest times of my life, and now that I'm getting towards the end, I'm starting to understand everything so much better. It's all worth it Family, it really is. Well I guess thats all I got for you this week, but I'll make sure my email is more action-packed next week. Love all of you, and I'm so happy to be a part of this Family. Hans.

Elder Abbott

Monday, May 7, 2012

Pictures - May 7, 2012

May 7, 2012

Family! Man, another totally crazy fast week, but definitely a good one. But it so for sure starting to get unbeievable hot again out here. But I guess it makes a lot of sense that Heavenly Father would send me to the sweatiest mission in the world, for being, as Greg put it, an "uneducated Schmutz." But the good news is that Zacatecas is totally not as hot as Torreon, which is basically like being in the upstairs computer room 5 years ago, with the two old super loud computers, and it being unbelievably hot. Or like the part in Mr. Toad's Wild Ride when you end up being in the infierno...okay maybe not that bad, but still. Maybe I should think about putting sun screen on sometimes, instead of you know, never putting it on. Maybe tomorrow.

Well first things first, a 70 came to our Mission the other day! Elder Magic Johnson. It was actually totally cool. Always a testimony builder to see these guys who are a million times smarter than I am have such strong testimonies, because even though I hear a lot of confusing things, those guys know all the answers. He sort of bashed the Book of Mormon in Spanish though, saying it wasn't translated right, my companion has been trying to read it in English ever since. I still read it in Spanish, it's actually easier for me to understand like that. Less fancy words that I don't really know what they mean. But whatever, the Book is fantastic in whatever language if you ask me. So that was fun, got to see my good buddy, Tarabilda. A little MTC flash-back action. Later on in the week, we had a totally fantastic Sunday investigator showing. 4 people for the first time! Thats almost like putting up a triple-double in the NBA around these parts. My favorite investigator right now is Irma and her family. Irma is a single Mom, and she has two kids, Valeria who is 14, and Diego who is 9. They looked like they really enjoyed the services, even though it's always true confusing time when we have to sing the hymns. I guess I never realized singing those songs forever, new people have no idea how they go. But hey, we're making progress. That day was a total testimony builder of fasting, because we were actually fasting specifically for her and her family, and they came! Success. Today we went to check out the famous Zacatecas mine. I guess it was kind of cool, our guide was basically just making dirty jokes the whole time. No class, but definitely had fun out of it. Worth 6 bucks, right?

So I guess I officially have 18 months as a Missionary. Sort of nuts, right? I'm confused about it too. 6 mo' months, and I'm back home before you know it. My game plan at this point is just to take advantage of everything. It's weird when it suddenly hits you and you realize that the Mission really isn't that long acutally. The Mission really makes so much sense now, I'm postiive that I learned super important things here that I never ever would have learned otherwise. I'm way grateful for that. So how is life back at home? Mom and Dad, congrats on the first baptism! And I'm glad Bishop Clayton could be there to support you guys. And....what about the Lakers? Last I heard they were two up on the Nuggets, so I'm pretty postive we'll win that in 4 or 5 games. Who do they have now anyways? Birdman? Terrible. Oh, also I'm calling you fools this week! I'm thinking I have to call this Saturday, because we have a stake activity we have to help out in like all of Sunday. So I'm guess I'll be calling like 6:00 my time, so be prepared! Anything else? Nope, don't think so, but hey, the church is for sure true, and it's the best thing ever.

Elder Abbott

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Pictures - May 1, 2012

May 1, 2012

Family! How's it going? Man, another totally fast week in the Mish. And I'm slowly becomming more and more Mexican, it's pretty great. All I'm missing is my curly moustache. Sorry, is that racist? Curly moustache isn't even a Mexican thing, it's more of an Itialian thing, right? I guess I'm kind of tired right now, sometimes P-Day isn't nearly as restful as it should be. Well I mean, as a Missionary you don't really get to rest ever...but I definitely have enjoyed sleeping more than I ever have in my entire life. Waking up at 6:30 ain't too bad either, way better than waking up at 5:45 for semiary. Oh and sorry Dad about having to wake me up every morning for 4 years...I remember being so incredibly tired. But pretty sure it's safe to say I wouldn't have graduated seminary without Dad, you the man, Big-D. So what has happened this week? Well, let me tell you..

So not that much really, but hey, makin' progress. All of the people we're teaching are kinda going off the deep end, so looks like we'll kinda have to start from ground zero again. Yes! It's super weird, we can get people to come to the church once, but then they never come back/hide from us. Is something wrong with the ward? I think the ward is great, but we have a few teachers who like getting into complicated subjects. Do you think someone who is just starting coming to church needs to know about "what kind of matter Christ used to make the universe?" Come on Guadalupe Ward teachers, keep it classy. But like I said, makin' progress. We've got some cool people we're teaching, we just gotta get them to the church. So what else has been going on? Well my companion, Elder Pineda, almost got killed by a dog the other day. That's pretty interesting, right? This huge dog literally broke his chain leash and starting chasing us down, but decided to go for Elder Pineda, and not me. He's got it out for Honduras. But somehow the dog stopped chasing him, I think he got freaked out from being too far from his house. But if you ask me, total miracle. I guess every Missionary has got to have a dog almost killed me kinda story. Well sir, I've got mine. What else? I did a lot of divisiones this week, in Zacatecas, and in Guadalupe 2 (the other side of the city I'm working in). Zacatecas is ridiculous! So many uphills you wouldn't believe it, it was basically like hiking Tipanogis again, but in a white shirt and a tie. It was pretty cool though, definitely got a really old feel in the Zacatecas downtown. The other day, in Guadalupe 2, I got to kick it with my good buddy Elder Myers, who happeneds to be a fellow Californian. So much Laker talk. So great. Speaking of Laker talk, a member from the 70 is going to visit our mission this week! Elder (Magic) Johnson. The last 70 who came to our area chewed us out pretty good, so naturally I'm excited for this next one. We have to dress up pretty nice for it apparently, and we can't go to the bathroom either for like 5 hours, should be fun. Oh, and today we went to the big park in Zacatecas, it even has a zoo! Totally boring/asleep animals of course, but hey.

So I guess thats what going on with me these days. How is everything at home? By that I mean, what is happening in the NBA? Playoffs just started, right? And Derek Rose just tore his ACL? What a bummer, I was totally a fan of that guy. I still bet Heat win this year, and it will be the only ring Lebron gets. But it will of course have a huge astrisk considering the lock-out and everything. Lakers can win it next year, with me right behind them every step of the way. Other than that, anything cool happening at home? What's it like with Abby and Papa gone? Who is at our house? No one tells me these things. But I'm sure Dad's got it all under control. Well I guess I'm going to talk about some spiritual thangs. I don't know, I'm really realizing more and more how the Gospel is the key to life. I mean, things of the world, are mostly trashy these days, and none of it really lasts. I'm 100% committed the living the Gospel in the best way I can, be the best husband/father I can, and be able to be with the people I love forever. Without that mindset, life really doesn't mean that much. Thank goodness I have the opportunity to be a Missionary, without it, I'm pretty sure I wouldn't be so sure about all these things. I love all of you fools, and hope life is great in the US of A. Keep on truckin'.

Elder Abbott